South African GP 1974

MARCH 30, 1974

South African GP, 1974

In the two months between the Brazilian and South African Grands Prix the F1 teams had raced in the President Medici GP in Brasilia (won by Emerson Fittipaldi) and the Race of Champions at Brands Hatch, which was won by the Lotus of Jacky Ickx. The teams had then headed to Kyalami for testing. At the end of the test Peter Revson's Shadow suffered a suspension failure at Barbecue Bend and the American was killed when the car went head-on into the barriers. The Shadow team packed up and went back to England. Hesketh Racing had its new Hesketh 308 ready for James Hunt. The entry included Tom Belso in the second Williams. The field was bolstered by a number of local drivers led by Team Gunston which was running Jody Scheckter's brother Ian and Paddy Driver, while Dave Charlton appeared in a Lucky Strike-sponsored ex-works McLaren.

Qualifying resulted in Niki Lauda taking his first pole position in the Ferrari with an impressive Carlos Pace second in his Surtees. There was an extraordinary performance from Arturo Merzario who qualified his Iso-Marlboro in third place ahead of Carlos Reutemann's Brabham, Emerson Fittipaldi's McLaren and the second Ferrari, driven by Clay Regazzoni. Seventh on the grid was a good effort for Hans Stuck in one of the factory March 741s while Jody Scheckter was eighth in his Tyrrell, ahead of Denny Hulme's McLaren and Jacky Ickx in the new Lotus 76. Ronnie Peterson had a troubled time with his new car and was only 16th on the grid.

At the start Lauda took the lead with Reutemann getting ahead of Merzario and Pace to take second place. Regazzoni was third with Jody Scheckter fourth. In the midfield there was disaster for Lotus when Peterson's throttle stuck open and he collided with his team mate Ickx. Jochen Mass in the Surtees also went off after being hit by Henri Pescarolo's BRM.

Lauda stayed in the lead for the first nine laps and then Reutemann eased ahead and began to pull away. Regazzoni remained third with Jody Scheckter fourth, Hunt fifth and Emerson Fittipaldi sixth. Hunt disappeared on the 14th lap with a driveshaft failure and then Scheckter began to suffer from tire vibration problems and dropped behind Fittipaldi and Hailwood. The order was unchanged for most of the middle part of the race although Hailwood overtook Fittipaldi for fourth place on lap 49. Both men then fell behind Jean-Pierre Beltoise's BRM.

On lap 66 Regazzoni went out with engine trouble to be followed nine laps later by Lauda with a similar problem. This meant that Beltoise was able to finish second with Hailwood third. Stuck scored his first F1 points with fifth place while Merzario gave Williams a point for sixth.

Carlos Reutemann Brabham-Cosworth BT44 78 1h42m40.960s  
14 Jean-Pierre Beltoise BRM P201 78 1h43m14.900s  11 
33 Mike Hailwood McLaren-Cosworth M23 78 1h43m23.120s  12 
Patrick Depailler Tyrrell-Cosworth 005 78 1h43m25.150s  15 
Hans-Joachim Stuck March-Cosworth 741 78 1h43m27.190s  
20 Arturo Merzario Iso Marlboro-Cosworth FW 78 1h43m37.000s  
Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Cosworth M23 78 1h43m49.350s  
Jody Scheckter Tyrrell-Cosworth 006 78 1h43m51.500s  
Denny Hulme McLaren-Cosworth M23 77  
10 10 Vittorio Brambilla March-Cosworth 741 77  19 
11 18 Carlos Pace Surtees-Cosworth TS16 77  
12 26 Graham Hill Lola-Cosworth T370 77  18 
13 29 Ian Scheckter Lotus-Cosworth 72E 76  22 
14 32 Eddie Keizan Tyrrell-Cosworth 004 76  24 
15 37 Francois Migault BRM P160E 75  25 
16r 12 Niki Lauda Ferrari 312B3 74 Ignition 
17 Richard Robarts Brabham-Cosworth BT44 74  23 
18 15 Henri Pescarolo BRM P160E 72  21 
19 23 Dave Charlton McLaren-Cosworth M23 71  20 
11 Clay Regazzoni Ferrari 312B3 65 Engine 
28 John Watson Brabham-Cosworth BT42 56 Fuel System 13 
Jacky Ickx Lotus-Cosworth 76 31 Brakes 10 
24 James Hunt Hesketh-Cosworth 308 13 Cv Joint 14 
19 Jochen Mass Surtees-Cosworth TS16 11 Accident/ Withdrew 17 
30 Paddy Driver Lotus-Cosworth 72E Clutch 26 
Ronnie Peterson Lotus-Cosworth 76 Accident 16 
21 Tom Belso Iso Marlboro-Cosworth FW Clutch 27